Thursday, January 24, 2013

24 enero 2013

Francis Ponge [pic courtesy of Eleanor]

from Francis Ponge’s Mute Objects of Expression, tr. Lee Fahnestock:

Complementary Vanities (poetry)
Top-of-their-lungs in abundance tender-feathered
Mimosa chicks
On the côte d’azure are cheeping gold.

Florabundant, top-of-their-lungs, tender-feathered
Between two indefinite blocks of azure
A hundred vainglorious chicks are cheeping gold.

O glorious naifs that once we were
Hatched beneath omega azure
Top-of-our-lungs and feather-bruised
Golden chicks of the mimosa.

Inasmuch as a faithful witness of azure
Nostrils wide breathe their oracles
Florabundant top-of-their-lungs tender-feathered
Chicks of the mimosa cheep of gold.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

23 enero 2013

we’re not yet ready to leave

I did a bout of weeding
Mike finished his outdoor tasks

I cooked everything
we ate roasted squash, jook, & ribs

I introduced Glen to sewing circle
gave away lots of veg
ate three delicious kinds of cookies

now to wash the dishes

then coffee
before I pack

The sense of becoming disturbingly real to yourself, that point where the interior conversations begin, like daylight picking its way over a bridge, over there to the further shore to shine its brightest. The difficult shell halved and the sparse interior looked into, a voice appearing and disappearing with the light that fell on one’s single self. Difficult to arrange this monodony. A necessity, the act of discovering where the self starts, hears, itself, and repeats the instructions. [BarbaraGuest]

Once More (Sleep)

Sleep in its rounded mound,
soft and ashy.
Sleep — feathers of the unformed —
and ample to fill a pillowcase, then
blow from its seams
the indentation of the head that never was.


A summons
reneged. That drowsing
finger, charcoaled,
smears off the first letter
of any word’s repose,

of the soft powder
fills in the impression.


One site in the alphabet
needs mending.

What might be provender
releases its dissimilar

twin: empty hourglass

Corybantic silence,

unravel the echoes stitch
by stitch to make such cloak

then wear it. As in the gait,
uneven, “of a man forever in fear of falling”

so as to see to
the restoration of that letter.

Death’s doppelgänger
is truth.

But do not believe that madness has ever left us. Like pain, it lies in wait for us at each stage, I mean each time we run up against the word hidden in the word, the being buried in the being. [Edmond Jabés] . . .

now we're ready

expect my next post from Chile

Monday, January 21, 2013

21 enero 2013

View of Sacramento City during the Great Inundation in January 1850
[lithograph by Geo. W. Casilear & Henry Bainbridge]

None stir the second time —
On whom I lay a Yellow Eye —
Or an emphatic Thumb —

Sphindigae, hawk moth, still alive

Jennifer Scappettone’s From Dame Quickly is hard to read, hard to warm to, modern-culture-critical, ingenious, feminist, funny, & fascinating. Not much like truth. Frequent beauty. She seems to begin with [un]quoted texts & alter the words (grandiloquently) until the result is a language puzzle sense peeks through.

from Thing Ode

Say, what thing — Darling — what thing keeps you
up at night? — security, collaboration,
innovation, client satisfaction,
productivity, the new black
global pipeline of sharing,
channel’s faultless banishing of rats?

a garrison’d ecosystem
waxing margins of the sure thing
now neither fish nor flesh
nor a damn of Mater
equipping itself to torque and spin
this leak of social substance?

Jennifer Scappettone [pic courtesy of The Disinhibitor]
da s

I was pre-Pandoran once, clear & amok, scarlet free where scarcely
orange or purple romed: all
font, Greek, drunk, then, then Tyred, vinegar spect for breakfast. How I seam
now in video
footage of national folding where only arson lives lives. Its source is valid because
calls it 100% relevant and government, which is apt since it’s an historical event. I reseek
pall this chunk’s vocation. Viatical my neighbor asks if I’d ride in the trunk, no kid; my
hatchback is mined in the parking lot for its sparkplugs beyond the bar. She masking
he then is captured by the faith-based; once she creams, he stops calling it
vocation. Down here, they have imported the clouds from Japan, and I hear them, sardine.
Keez me, gaghrl, yer old wahn. Geta-crushing Shoji of the air will remember cat-noise
and -fish for complements as the King of Terror will never have forced
the possible Fed you you you’re not — not. Postal will be yours and you, bulk predellal,
urinals on vehicles, art naught but an empty he-port. Grey they err over joy, toupeeing
as picture meant to do. I stream, hand mover, reek, occupy ice and call that night. Of all
you finally type to say you hosted Uncle Chen in your backyard exclusive. Wake,
it’s time to smell the smoke. Darling I

incensed. Once could have been your she-port; pretty noun
look ahead to repast and yr Gruyerer aspect. Hype alone remains inside the box.

& then there's Tadpole in costume:

Sunday, January 20, 2013



Miss Vee finds Sphingidae moths outside in the dark, brings them inside
for sport, the longest-lasting windup toy a cat could ever dream of

eclosion: the emergence of an insect from the pupa case, or of a larva from the egg

from Noble Beast Andrew Bird's "MasterSwarm":

Thank you, Chris.

a final snippet from Alice Notley's Culture of One (Penguin, 2007):

from The Doodad Affair

                                 I say, I dreamed I gave a reading
at the checkout counter of a supermarket, by
the tabloids and gum. I couldn’t get my music across —
Or was it all they heard were ideas — how boring —
again? Popup thoughts for scholars, obliterating
the poem. Fucking timepieces for heads. My harmonica’s
unheard, the lady’s dead broke. I broke her. For, I

always create myself.

planted iris throws between rocks in pond
moved the artemesia from the herb garden to the west cactus garden
moved a plant of which we have 5 the name of which I don’t know
wide large spiky green leaves; 3”-thick woody trunk — to the pond

mystery plant

planted 14 types of herbs in veg & herb gardens
borage, chamomile, chives, cilantro, comfrey, dill, echinacea, ephedra
lemon balm, parsley, St. John’s Wort, sheep sorrel, stevia, yarrow
planted more rhubarb west of mechanical room

pond weeds

went to community lake with buckets & net to get fish & pond weeds
at least two small schools of fish swimming around our pond

Saturday, January 19, 2013

19 enero 2013

dream of apartment hunting in a city
the first apartment is overpopulated & only has an outdoor shower that collapses on me
second one has beautiful rooms on the second floor
tho nothing but beds & windows
downstairs is flo-thru to & from the mall
features an upward-sloping body-wide belt on which you lie on your back
arms stretched out & moving to propel you up the slope
Mike tries it but ahead of him are small children going nowhere
outside the apartment(s) is a red sand wash landscape
after we sign the papers, we exit through revolving doors (takes me two rotations)
to the outdoor mall where I see people at a restaurants eating crown of lamb
with their hands, I leave Mike at a table while I go ask about the wait
no wait, waiter is ready to seat us, but Mike has disappeared
standing next to the table a tall meaty dark-haired & -bearded friend of ours
he & I follow the waiter, hoping Mike will figure it out
I’m overloaded with my handhelds & Mike’s, too, because he left them on the table
the waiter leads us to the 4th floor
on the landing I ask two Latin-seeming waiters to keep an eye out for un hombre flaco
the woman says, ¿un hombre flauco?
I anticipate problems

drawing by Adonna Khare

Adonna Khare's drawings are remarkable

evenings I’m enjoying a fluff thriller, Rebecca Forster’s Hostile Witness
finished Susan Howe’s My Emily Dickinson

it rained most of the night, sometimes hard, MV comes inside her back all wet
she’s in the shower torturing a small spider

Multiple Choice

I will live
  1. until I’m 97
  2. forever as a frozen cyborg
  3. in the memory of three generations
  4. through seven more incarnations before I become the ruler of the universe
  5. in South America for the rest of my life
  6. as if I would never die
This morning my family has diarrhea because
  1. it’s raining
  2. the turkey & turkey stock I made turkey soup from was toxic
  3. we stayed up until 10 PM reading mystery novels
  4. the spider Miss Vee tortured in the shower exuded toxic fumes
  5. diarrhea is an ugly word
  6. cleaning toilets builds compassion
Poetry is
  1. an alternative to suicide
  2. ignored because truth & beauty have no place in the modern world
  3. where today’s best novels are being written
  4. what humans spoke first after laughter & moans
  5. an antidote to government-religion-education-commercial-sports-celebrity-speak
  6. what children sing before they are ruined
Home Owner Association meetings are
  1. where sea cucumbers go to die
  2. a poor alternative to drinking Malbec & eating jook
  3. zombie conventions
  4. listed as an endangered species by the Modern Language Association
  5. illegal in Singapore, Johannesberg, St. Petersburg, Milford Sound, & Tierra del Fuego
  6. outlawed by Al Qaeda, recorded by the Department of Homeland Security, infiltrated by the CIA, required by Shabak, Mossad, & Aman
Childhood is followed by
  1. obesity
  2. further indoctrination into normalcy by the myths of nation-state, organized religion, politics, economics, medicine, & entitlement
  3. alcohol & drugs
  4. the subjugation of gender & genitals to Madison Avenue bullshit
  5. more of the same
  6. multiple-choice questions with randomly generated answers
Failure of compassion occurs when
  1. one’s self-image is interrupted by a commercial announcement
  2. the egg is too small to be shared
  3. yeast fails to bud
  4. St. Teresa explains to the soldier that she can’t give him a blow job because his penis has been lopped off by counter-insurgency
  5. raped women are told they asked for it
  6. you think you have a right to tell me what to do
Tom Clark is my long-time favorite blogger

it’s raining; can hardly go outside to weed
next door the workers are hammering & yelling even though it’s Saturday

finished cutting back the west bristlemallow
dug out a couple dozen stipa grasses & one sorghum (I think sorghum)
working to make space for more Knipfofia; 

Wiki quote: Long thought of as vulgar, Mary Keen 
argues that it is time to reconsider these flowers.”
I wonder what made Mary Keen vulgar.

Mike harvested a huge watermelon, a spaghetti squash, & a cantaloupe

Miss Vee & her rare earth watermelon [pic by Mike Smith]

Miss Vee has a facebook account now under the name Missy Vee.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Elena Fanailova

I finished the eggplant mouse’s body, unraveled it 
am midway through a green mouse’s body with a smaller needle 

my blog statistics indicate that 

Apple owns 60% of the operating system market 
Google owns 60% of the browser market 
Facebook links generate 5-10 times more traffic than Google+ links

I should read more Russian poetry:

Elena Fanailova [pic by Stanislav Lvovsky courtesy of Jacket2]

Lena and Lena


Lena is going to Belgrade
To see her lover,
The one she met in Sarajevo
Right in the airport.
They walk around in Kalemegdan
Look at a photo exhibit
Eat in a fish restaurant
On the banks of the Danube
They don’t get as far as Zemun
And end up a little irritated, waiting:
The taxi doesn’t come right away . . .

He’s very diplomatic
And very tender
That shape of personality and behavior
That she longed for in the dark

But his face wrenches out of shape
When he hears people speaking Hebrew
And hears their self-confident laughter
At the next table
Also he has pretty terrible taste . . .

Fucking, pure fucking until you see stars
As an instrument of cognition

Emily Dickinson [pic courtesy of Wikipedia]

A tour de force read of the word thumb from Susan Howe’s My Emily Dickinson (New Directions, 2007):

An original Disobedience: A girl in bed alone sucking her thumb.Thumb: short thick first or most preaxial digit of the human hand differing from the four fingers in having greater freedom of movement and being opposable to the other fingers. Thumb and Gnome have silent letters and rhyme wrongly with Gun and whom. For Freudians, thumb and gun are phallic and the same. Without a thumb, it would be hard to grip a gun. The thumb helps my fingers grip, helps to turn the pages of a book. All thumbs — Awkward. Under the thumb: under control of. Thumb: To feel point press attack . . . to play. To thumb one’s nose at the collective wisdom of the ages. Wives and slaves were thumbs. In the nineteenth century a mark made with the inked thumb was used for identification of an illiterate person. Thumb rhymes with dumb.Thumb a nursery word rhymes crookedly with ‘time’ riddled back to Jack Horner who sat in his corner, eating a Christmas Pie. He put in his thumb pulled out a plum and said “What a good boy am I!” Good Uncle Tom. Was Jack put in the corner because he was wrong or dumb? What had he done? Back around to foe and Master and Jack the Giant Killer climbing his beanstalk to hear the “Fie, foh, and fum,” of Edgar/Tom’s mad song, “I smell the blood of a British man./ Be he alive or be he dead,/ I’ll grind his bones to make my bread.” Jack, and Jacob the Bible’s poet, were both ladder-watchers. Tom Thumb (“Your Gnome”) was little but as powerful as David the other biblical poet, who slew Goliath with a sling-shot. Cover the touch-hole of a cannon with your thumb. She, GUN-THUMB-YELLOW EYE-BULLET-POET-GNOME is emphatic. Dauntless predator and protector.

coot eggs in large, reed-mounted nest

This afternoon Collin, Molly, Sarah, Beth, & I took a bird walk around the community lake. We identified chestnut-capped blackbird, red-gartered coot, pied-billed grebe, whistling heron, bare-faced ibis, jacana, South American stilt, & Coscoroba swan. We also saw algae, reeds, nests with & without eggs, fish ranging from tiny minnows to oversized koi, & small curled snails.

Phimosus infuscatus, Bare-faced ibis

Fulica armillata, Red-gartered Coot feeding cootlets

Coscoroba coscoroba, Coscoroba Swan

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Slashes between Polarities

hair / feathers
cunt / dick
animal / plant
ears / skin tags
money / stamps
male / mail
power / outage
mountain / plane
bird / brain
head / egg
rebel / yank
mercy / war
shit / pot
fog / lighthouse
box wine / chateaubriand
come alive / cop it
broke / flush
green / polluted
sword / trowel
sudoku / anal sex
socks / mittens
hoof / nail
sink / toilet
shit / chocolate
crab / stroke
galley / head
oar / wand
bean / brawn
sincere / camp
academic / savant
bread / art

idealists still believe in progress — realists believe in local change
gardens attract animals — armadillos, birds, cats, foxes, insects, rabbits, toads

from Chain #1:

Johanna Drucker: women play the same games as the men once in power

Kathleen Fraser: Our hearts did not belong to Daddy. . . . we preferred to be surprised and pulled into linguistic maps that clearly connected us up to sudden locations of self knowledge & recognition of intellectual/ spiritual/ esthetic zones we might otherwise never have inhabited.

Sigmund Freud: The mechanism of poetry is the same as that of hysterical phantasies.

Elliot George Mishler: [The physician] responds to one element of the patient's account, usually her mention of a specific symptom, abstracts it from the context in which it is presented, and then refers to the symptom within another context expressed in the voice of medicine. The symptom is thus transformed by being relocated to a different province of meaning . . . much is lost in the translation from one voice to another. It is as if a poem in one language that uses qualities of the weather, such as its dampness or coldness, as a metaphor for the feeling state of the narrator were to be translated literally into another language as a description of the weather. . . . Although two persons are talking to each other in the medical interview, it does not have the essential reciprocity feature of ordinary face- to-face interaction and rnight more precisely be viewed as face -to-mask interaction.

Barbara Henning: One man to the next: She's difficult at times, but we'll mold her.

Speaking of Which

Speaking to an Argentine man
is equivalent to interviewing
the person who invented the box
works only inside the box
cannot hear the words of someone
outside the box no matter how
informedly, how articulately
how insistently she speaks.

from Marisa Crawford's essay on Thelma & Louise in delirious hem:

In Thelma & Louise, adult female friendship is a rock-solid and ecstatic alternative to female subjugation and the traditional romance plot. A joyful, vibrating vehicle through which one can achieve true freedom and meaningful self-expression. Until that vehicle drives itself off a cliff.

If men didn’t rape, Louise wouldn’t have shot the rapist. If the system didn’t blame rape victims, they wouldn’t have gone on the run. If men didn’t rape, they could have driven through Texas. If the system didn’t blame rape victims, Louise wouldn’t have been so afraid. If women weren’t taught they deserve to be treated like shit, they wouldn’t have had to become fugitives in order to feel free. If there was a place for liberated, powerful women who live on their own terms in this world, they wouldn’t have had to create their own. If there was a place for liberated, powerful women who live on their own terms in this world, they wouldn’t have had to plummet into the Grand Canyon in order to feel free.

The logic falls in on itself. Like a sea-foam T-bird falling into the Grand Canyon.

Green Tara [pic courtesy of Michelle Myhre]

from Alice Notley's Culture of One (Penguin, 2012):

Identity of a Mist

This codex is about identity. I can’t help it.
What do you really think you have to do? Tara’s

identity is so fixed she has no sense of self. Or beauty,

but I hear the buzzing and humming of letters, she says.
Different, over and over, where the vines trip up
false magicians. I cannot be debunked; grey as the edges
          of creepy awards.

I’m still trying to remember where the heartlessness of
care came from. I engulf the elementary school
in a cloud, so the children can finally branch out. Not
be set towards a terminus of skittering chances, dry
gale — you’re supposed to be bored and superstitious. If you’re

self-destructive, I say that’s better. Though you shouldn’t
die. I’d teach them to respect the gutter and the gully.

The old fathers have to enter the story at some point;
owning all the diamonds, still; coughing them up for
the cruel girls. What’re you gonna do with your
jewel? Smear it with snatch juice and love it to death;
see if I care. It’s a special kind of life, there in civilization.
But on the outer fringes you can probably lose your contempt.

So many shared views: I feel like Alice Notley's channeling me.